One half of this recipe was my attempt to recreate the veggie gyoza at Zipang in Vancouver; the other half was improvisation based on all the little bits of information I’ve squirrelled away: from YouTube tutorials, from eating gyoza, from looking at pictures of gyoza, etc.
But basically it’s just a filling inside an edible wrapper, which I am convinced is a universal foodstuff, so the variations are boundless. And when you have pre-prepared, packaged dumpling skins, you’re already halfway to eating.
Notes: Garlic stems are sold by the bunch at Asian grocer's and have a mild garlicky flavour with the texture of asparagus. —Melanie K.
Heat some sesame oil and vegetable oil in a pan over medium heat. Fry vegetables with ginger and garlic until semi-translucent and cooked. Add soy sauce to taste.
Mix the cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of water. Add to the vegetable mixture to bind. It should hold together and become shiny but not be a solid mass. Transfer to a bowl to cool–do not wrap dumplings with hot filling!
Wrap gyoza: put about 1 1/2 tablespoon of filling in the middle of a wrapper. Brush water along the edge of wrapper with your finger. Gently fold in half and pinch one end to seal, then make pleats all the way across. (I learned how to do this on YouTube, honestly!) The finished dumpling should sit up with a flat bottom, which is ideal for frying.
Remove from the pan and place on a dish with the crisped bottoms facing up. Serve with a dipping sauce of your choice; I like to mix a splash of rice vinegar, some soy sauce and sesame oil.